Gunnislake got the holiday weekend off to a great start with a 37 run win over Werrington IV. While Somerset were lifting the Royal On Day Cup Trophy at Lords, Gunnislake had their own minor triumph by the Tamar at the Hawkmoor Ground.
The match started with Werrington perhaps slight favourites, but with everything very much to play for. What cunning plan had the home team in store for Werrington’s new captain and star batsman Nigel Dennis? How many of their academy would be playing, and what of Andrew Smeeth and Nick Ward? What could David Emmerson do after last week’s career highest score? Could Gunnislake finally win a toss? Would Adrian Cameron turn up on time?** Was the average age of the Werrington team greater than Gunnislake’s? Not sure, but a close call! Would there be any challengers to Stephen Lees’s leadership of the Gunnislake team? But this is supposed to be a report, not a quiz, so on with the show.
The toss was lost and Gunnislake were asked to bat. Ian Mill opened the batting with Adam Emmerson, both twins playing to confuse the opposition. For Werrington Brian Baker and Tony Scown opened the bowling. Gunnislake made steady progress, with Mill and Emmerson 1 forming a strong and stable partnership, and the run rate increased with Werrington’s first bowling changes. Indeed they were still together at the drinks break, with the total on 88. But Mill was out soon after for 41, a soft (Br)exit, bowled by Baker, as he tired in the afternoon sun. Enter Emmerson 2, who started slightly slower than last week, as Baker and Scown once again made runs harder to come by. Emmerson 1 decided his work was done, departing for fine 50, and Emmerson 2 took up the challenge. In a repeat of last week the field spread far and wide and young James Turner came in for some harsh treatment. In no time at all Emmerson had recorded a second career fifty, a mere seven days after his first. The runs continued to flow, and David Emmerson was last out, run out off the final ball of the innings, with a splendid 83 to his name. Mum and Dad will be proud! Baker finished with three wickets, and a further two run outs contributed to a final tally of 208 for 5. This was Gunnislake’s highest total of the season, but your reporter still had Werrington slightly ahead.
For Werrington’s reply captain Nigel Dennis led from the front, supported by Alan Hockin; Paul Lees and Sylvan Pook returned fire. Two quick fours for Hocking announced intent, but then he missed one, bowled by Pook. At the other end Dennis smacked one straight to Adam Emmerson at cover point and last week’s unbeaten centurion was back in the pavillion, suffering a hard (Br)exit for a meagre 5. The swingometer moved towards a predicted Gunnislake victory. Experienced Andrew Smeeth dug in, while Nick Wills, freed of the tribulations of captaincy this season, struck out at the other end. The score had reached 53 for 2 at 20 overs, with George Jefferis particularly miserly, his first five overs going for only two runs. Werrington were behind the curve, but not out of it. Shorn of front line bowlers Gunnislake pressed a slightly injured Adrian Cameron into action. The scoring rate increased, and at one stage was running at 8 an over. Wills fell LBW to Jefferis, but James Turner continued the aggressive batting and both sides remained in with a chance. But Adam Emmerson took another excellent catch at mid-off to remove James and the fat lady started to limber up her vocal chords. John Wills didn’t last long (rather like a Brexit Secretary), and then Adam Emmerson took a third low diving catch, to get under what could have been a half volley, to remove Jonathan Ward. Smeeth looked on helpless from the other end; the required run rate had edged up to over ten an over. Gunnislake spread the field far and wide; boundaries were few and some slogs were missed. Baker edged a faint tickle behind (thanks for walking Brian) and Werrington came up short on 171 for 7 as they ran out of overs, with Smeeth undefeated on 54. Pook took three wickets for Gunnislake, but it was those three catches by Emmerson that swung it. Back to that old Ian Pemerton classic: “catches win matches”. And fittingly it was two of his protégés, the Emmerson twins, that won the match today.
** Just: 1.25pm
Posted by David Emmerson on Saturday, 25 May 2019